Mark's presentation of her, and her role in the drama, <are, is> quite prosaic

Rex

Senior Member
AUSTRALIA: English
Dear friends

In the following sentence, I'm unsure whether the "is" should be "are":
Mark's presentation of her, and her role in the drama, is quite prosaic.

Many thanks for advice on this.
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think the writer is talking about one presentation, Mark's presentation, of two things.
    The verb should be singular - his presentation "is" ...
    ________________________________________

    Alternatively, there are two things that are prosaic:
    Mark's presentation of her is prosaic.
    Her role in the drama is prosaic.

    That seems unlikely, but possible.
    If so, then the two things ... are prosaic.

    I'm now confused about the punctuation ... off to think.
     
    Last edited:

    beccamutt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm thinking that there are two subjects of this sentence (Mark's presentation and her role) and thus we would use are, no? :/

    I'm also confused by the initial comma -- not sure why it's there which is what seems to be causing confusion as to the verb... shouldn't the sentence read:

    Mark's presentation of her and her role in the drama are quite prosaic.

    Although, it could also be:

    Mark's presentation of her (and her role in the drama) is quite prosaic.

    I just confused myself, so I probably didn't help at all....
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The sentence sounds a bit strange to me, both with "is" and with "are". What does "Mark's presentation of her" mean?:confused:


    Where did you find this sentence, Rex?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Ignoring the punctuation, there are two possible intended meanings.

    <Mark's presentation of her> and <her role in the drama> are quite prosaic.

    Mark's presentation of <her and her role in the drama> is quite prosaic.
     

    Rex

    Senior Member
    AUSTRALIA: English
    Dear friend
    The sentence is my own. I'm discussing how Mark presents both the person and her role in the drama - my essay is about Salome and the beheading of John the Baptist!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Dear friend
    The sentence is my own. I'm discussing how Mark presents both the person and her role in the drama - my essay is about Salome and the beheading of John the Baptist!
    In that case, there is one presentation and the verb should be singular.
     
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